Home Dear Linda,

Dear Linda,

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Katrina has interrupted our lives, and the changes hurt. However, my life has been put into perspective and my desire to slow down has been renewed in earnest. How can I simplify my life and make the changes stick?
Michelle G., Kenner

Dear Michelle,
Few of us have been able to see any silver linings come out of Katrina, but it sounds like you have come across one. Our routines have either been destroyed or, at the very least, temporarily suspended. As we re-create our daily lives, we can use this as a perfect opportunity to make fresh decisions about what is really important and make changes accordingly. It is crucial to make time for yourself. Doing so will enable you to be happier in all your roles—as a wife, mother, friend, employee, etc. I have used this time to reassess my life and have altered some of the patterns I’d fallen into. I have joined a gym for the first time ever. I am astonished to discover how much better I feel—both physically and mentally—after some yoga, cardiovascular and resistance training! I’ve scheduled in some time for a book I’ve wanted to read and have enjoyed reconnecting with friends. I am very proud that I am finally learning to take care of me! We usually turn on the TV as soon as we get home from work and turn it off at bedtime. Instead, I’ve prepared a schedule of TV shows that my family and I like to watch, and now we only tune in when those shows are on. We’re working on planning a family night each week, too. Review each activity before you add it to your schedule, so you can avoid returning to your hectic pre-Katrina life. Slow down and appreciate who and what you have.